Academics' Rosie Cullen, Secondary Education Consultant in the Warrington branch, spoke to us about safeguarding, commitment, and Dolph!
What service do you provide to supply teachers?
At Academics we provide a very personal service by interviewing all teachers ourselves in order to understand the type of school and work they are looking for. We really get to know our teachers so that we can find the right work for them. We offer long term, short term and permanent positions depending on the requests from our teachers. We are an honest and upfront company who work very hard for our teachers and expect the same in return. We build our business by building an impeccable reputation and relationship with our schools and teachers which sets us aside from the rest.
The recruitment process starts with a phone interview so that we can get to know our teachers, run through their CV and determine whether they are right for positions in which we are recruiting for. Once the relationship is established over the phone and both the consultant and teacher are happy with each other, we invite you in for a face to face interview. At this stage we complete all safeguarding checks. We have been awarded the APSCO Compliance plus and REC accreditation for our safeguarding and compliance procedures (we are 1 of only a handful of agencies to have been awarded both). We conduct an interview to discuss the type of school that you are looking to work with and the type of work, whether it will be long term or short term positions which suit you personally. We will run through everything that you need to know and expect from working with Academics. Then once you are fully through our safeguarding procedure and acceptable references have been received, you will be cleared to work. We will keep our teachers up to date with all movements on their file and at what stage they are up to. We have a 5 day turnaround on clearing our teachers for work which we stick to unless any specific reasons stop us.
When you come into register with Academics, we aim to make you feel as comfortable as having a chat with a friend. You will be offered a warm welcome on arrival. You will receive a welcome pack from us that includes anything that you need to know about working with us. We work as a team with our teachers and make sure that they know that they can call us at any time if they have any questions at all. We are a very approachable agency who really do put our teachers first and pride ourselves on this.
Our expectations of our teachers in terms of providing work and marking work really depends on the situation and placement that they are in. If you are in a long term position then you will be expected to plan, prepare and mark work as you are completely taking over the teachers responsibilities. If you are working in a short term position such as a daily booking, unless stated otherwise, you will not be expected to provide work. We do believe that our teachers should treat every day of supply as an interview, so we expect you to give 100% towards the role. We will always say to our teachers to do whatever they feel comfortable doing. Every school will have different expectations of our supply teachers so we ask that at each school you assess the situation regarding playground duties and marking work and make your own informed decision.
Academics look for teachers who are honest, hardworking and loyal. We work very hard to make you feel comfortable and for you to trust us, so we expect the same level of commitment from our teachers. We know that every teacher will suit different types of schools so we do not have specific personal qualities that we will look for, we only ask that our teachers are trustworthy and committed to teaching in order to keep our reputation high within the area.
We are a very supportive agency and support our teachers 100%. We offer tailored advice to our teachers whether you are an NQT or a fully qualified teacher who is new to the world of supply teaching. As previously mentioned, we really get to know our teachers which helps us to advise for different situations which may be personal to them. After every teachers first day of supply in a new school we call them and ask for their feedback whether it be good or bad. It is just as important for us to receive honest feedback from our teachers as it is to gain feedback about our teachers from our schools. We always ask that if our teachers have any issues or problems that they come to us immediately in order for us to help and advise.
We strongly believe that our teachers represent who we are as a business. It gave us a real opportunity to show our teachers the appreciation that we have for them all year round. The week also enabled us to let our teachers know that they are not alone and that they are a part of the bigger picture. We could not do what we do well without them.
Dolph Lungren because: He's a genius (he has degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering and he speaks 7 languages) He was an international karate champion (Always thinking about the extra curricular activities) He's an accomplished drummer and musician And lets face it, the students are not going to test his patience!
Get in touch with Academics!
To cut a long story short, I never wanted to be a teacher! I only did it because I got to the end of my degree and I didn't know what to do next. I was adamant that I was not up to teaching primary and so I went into secondary, where at least I could do the subject I loved, performing arts. It turned out that I actually liked it! However, as I did the only performing arts PGCE in the country, and wanted to move home to Halifax, there were no jobs. The October after I finished my PGCE, I decided that I should do some supply (very reluctantly). As it turned out, by the time my CRB for the agency was through, I had a part time job at a very difficult school. I worked permanently two days and did supply the rest. I can honestly say, as uncomfortable as it was, it was invaluable in shaping me as a teacher and I feel it was better to do this at the beginning of my teaching life.
Travel cup (most important), bottled water, breakfast, lunch, pencil case with every colour of pen and seven rubbers (in case I want to do art with them), Maths on Target textbooks, Grammar and Punctuation Text Books, Timesheets, box of bribes, business cards, CRB and a coat with a hood (in case I’m forced to do break duty in the rain).
I engage in good banter with my consultant - we get on and chat about our latest garden improvements. I think the most important thing is good behaviour. I insist on that and it creates a good impression. I do get a lot of requests.
Some of it is based on me and my experience, a lot is exaggerated for humour's sake. I'm not the incompetent teacher that is portrayed in the book, it's more of a play on how supply can make you look that way. I poured my love for sarcasm into the book because the kids don't get it!
Jump in with both feet! You can do it - believe you can. Always have something up your sleeve and 'don't take no messing'!
Everything! I learned how to be a Primary Teacher on the job! The key things:
1. To stand in front of the door 10 minutes before the lesson ends in secondary.
2. If you don't understand the planning, do your own thing and tell the teacher it didn't make sense.
3. Act really shocked at low level disruption.
4. That schools have 100 different ways of doing playground duty.
5. When class teachers are shocked when you don't know the terminology they use in their school, respond with terminology that you learnt from the school down the road to prove your point.
6. To focus on the day and the marking. Do the lesson, mark the lesson - don't leave it until the end of the day.
I've always been lucky enough to do supply without worrying about money. Mine is the supplement wage. I have never ever done supply and struggled for things to do on the other days, in some ways I wish I had! For the last 3 years I've been working on a website that I launched 18 months ago. I always enjoyed creating resources, in secondary and primary. I realised that nothing was ever differentiated and that it was really difficult if you had a 1a and 4b in the same class. Seeing how many other teachers delivered lessons helped me to broaden my ideas for it. So, Classroom Secrets was born.
Robin Williams. He would be brilliant at behaviour management just by being himself and would always have the attention of the children, which is a big thing in my book.